LinkedIn is the number one professional network, however, that doesn’t mean everyone uses it or knows about the neat things it can do. I would like to try to convince you all to better understand what LinkedIn can do and how it can help you and your career.
How many of you have a LinkedIn profile that just sort of sits there? You filled in some of it and maybe even connected with a few people but other than that, nada? And what about the college students I hope are reading this. Are you on LinkedIn? According to a recent survey of 200 college students conducted by StudentAdvisory.com and Millenial Branding, only 33% of college students had a LinkedIn profile.
Scope Out Possible Career Options
[January 2014 Update: This functionality is no longer available!] LinkedIn’s “skills & expertise” is a real-time research tool. Enter one of your top skills or area of expertise in the search box. The results include other key skills associated with the one you entered. Do you have these too? If you are lacking some of those skills, it would be wise for you to schedule an informational meeting with someone in that occupation to learn how important your missing skills might be. While you are on this results page, note the growth of that skill (or decline), the professionals who are listed, the related groups on LinkedIn, the related companies and related jobs. Skills & Expertise is rich in data to help you learn about careers and find people to network with.
Who’s Influencing You
One of LinkedIn’s newest features called “Influencers.” Now you can see what key industry movers and shakers are saying and sharing. You don’t need to be connected with them in order for their news to hit your home page on LinkedIn. Consider commenting on their updates to show your own thought-leadership.
Endorse and Recommend Others
The newest feature on LinkedIn is Endorsements. You can endorse people in your network for their skills and expertise. The verdict is still out by many LinkedIn gurus on this feature’s usefulness, but you should know about it! The LinkedIn blog has an overview of the way endorsements work. My two-cents is to do this with thought and purpose. In otherwords, don’t go on an endorsing rampage. Endorse people you sincerely believe have the skills you are endorsing. And in a perfect world, I would take this one step further…only endorse the skills you have seen in action!
Get Problems Solved Quickly
Groups are an under-utilized resource for finding solutions to your business challenges and meeting new people.
If you would like to read more about LinkedIn’s features so you can get more out of this social network, head on over to On Careers where I’ve written a post about this today.